Thursday 17 October 2013

Retrofitted observation Swift boxes inside a gable end

Toby Wilson, of RSPB Scotland, has kindly sent in this story, with pictures, of a neat and practical way of incorporating Swift boxes in an attic behind a gable end. Similar nest boxes configured this way have been very successful in Fulbourn, Cambs.

A view from the outside
Following very helpful and much appreciated advice from Chris Mason and friends, in April 2013 my parents installed two Schwegler Swift Observation Boxes (See here) in the gable wall of their home in east Oxford. We thought it would be a good site as each year a screaming party of around twenty swifts gather above the house and fly along the road. 

Inside the roof space
Swifts have also been at least prospecting (too high and awkward to confirm) under the gable eaves in previous years (See Youtube ). My brother played attraction calls from the window in the gables during summer 2013 but the boxes do not appear to have been used. 

The upper box reveals a glass back

I am based in Glasgow, so I have not been able to monitor properly the use of the boxes to see whether any birds have been prospecting but I hope to spend more time there next summer and will also aim to rig up some speakers next to the boxes in the roof space

Installation diagram
Installation required drilling a ~100mm hole through the wall, to take the entrance pipe, then fitting a Schwegler face plate to the outside and bolting the box to the inside.


1 comment:

  1. Hi

    I've got a breeding pair in a natural hole in the eaves on the gable end of my Victorian terraced house.

    I've been advised to reduce the aperture size to deter starlings, and to install extra internal boxes on the gable end, which I'm very happy to do. However, I'm concerned that if I need scaffolding to do that, it'll cost over £1000

    Can you (or anyone else, who's installed boxes in gable ends) advise me as to whether they used scaffolding or ladders please ? Or even if they we able to install the boxes from the inside.

    Thanks a lot in advance